The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging farmers to ensure they understand their rights and obligations under the Dairy Industry Code of Conduct.
The mandatory industry code, which came into effect on January 1, applies to farmers and processors, setting out requirements in relation to supply contracts and their dealings with one another.
Under the code, anyone who buys milk directly from farmers — including co-operatives, retailers, brokers and other direct buyers — are defined as processors.
Some sections of the code will not apply to either a farmer or processor if a processor is a small business entity as defined by the code.
As part of the code all milk processors were required to publish milk prices on their website by 2pm on June 1.
This is designed to give dairy farmers time to review and compare offers before entering into discussions or negotiations with processors.
The ACCC has published guidance on code requirements around milk supply agreements (including minimum price and price step-downs), who is excluded from the code, how the code applies to co-operatives, dispute resolution, record keeping requirements, financial penalties and the ACCC’s role in enforcing the code.
For guidance on these topics, visit: accc.gov.au/business/industry-codes/dairy-code-of-conduct
To download the fact sheet, visit: accc.gov.au/publications/what-the-dairy-code-means-for-farmers-fact-sheet